Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Headaches and Coffee

I'm a coffee addict and when I fail to take in caffein in the morning, I get a headache. I am prone to migraine and guess what one of my migraine triggers is - you've got it: coffee! So whether I drink coffee or not, I get a headache. Might as well enjoy the taste, the aroma, and the lifestyle that goes with a cup, right?

Unfortunately, I also discovered late in life that I have vertigo. Guess what triggers vertigo for me? My doctors said I should avoid cheese, chocolates, stress, sleeplessness, and, woe to me, coffee! There was a change of lifestyle required there that I wasn't so prepared to embrace.

I obeyed my doctors for a whole three months. One afternoon, however, I could neither make heads nor tails in the transcript I was reading in the office because my insomnia attacked that week, meaning I was surviving on two to three hours of sleep and suffering for it. I went to the pantry and saw Taster's Choice beckoning to me. I gave in and made myself a dark cup of instant coffee.

No sooner had I downed the mugful of caffein when I palpitated. I checked, it wasn't my heart beating strongly for someone, it was a physical reaction to drinking what was forbidden! My hands started shaking and I could feel dizziness kicking in. When my officemates saw me, they swore never to let me touch coffee again. When vertigo strikes, I cannot move even my head without feeling like the whole world is spinning. I can't even send text messages because the letters on my phone keypad don't make sense to me. I learned my lesson the hard way.

I found a compromise. I can drink one cup of coffee in the morning without palpitating. If I get enough sleep at night, I should be ok. Now I just look at Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, Mocha Blends, Figaro, Seattle's Best and San Francisco Coffee House with longing. I still frequent these places but settle for second best - their decaffeinated varieties.

There are a hundred other causes for my headaches these days, but I try to be a good girl. I now take coffee breaks without coffee.

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